Welcome to my newest obsession, Backwash.com.
Incidentally, backwashing was something that was one of the seven deadly sins when I was in primary school at the Ursuline Convent in Barbados. “Don’t backwash,” was one of those imperious commands given when sharing one’s Sprite or juice.
The Free Dictionary describes ‘backwash’ as:
1. backwash – the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller slipstream, airstream, race, wash flow – any uninterrupted stream or discharge
2. backwashbackwash – the consequences of an event (especially a catastrophic event); “the aftermath of war”; “in the wake of the accident no one knew how many had been injured” aftermath, wake consequence, effect, result, upshot, outcome, event, issue – a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon; “the magnetic effect was greater when the rod was lengthwise”; “his decision had depressing consequences for business”; “he acted very wise after the event”
3. backwash – the wave that spreads behind a boat as it moves forward; “the motorboat’s wake capsized the canoe” wake moving ridge, wave – one of a series of ridges that moves across the surface of a liquid (especially across a large body of water)
However, this is about a web site, so let me get into it.
Rather than search the Internet based on key words, search strings and categories, this site allows you to filter the Internet via personalities.
It’s simple, when you register, you can tool around the site and find a surfer whose tastes in content matches yours and you can use their links, columns and other contributions as a jump off point to crawl and experience the web.
Naturally, almost every personality type and content type is represented, so it allows for a wild, furry and interesting exploration of the Internet. The appeal of the site is that there are opinions to share, opinions to read and it’s easy to add your own voice to the overall community.
There are also spin-off sites, Adult, Kids, Literary and Pets that use the same format but with specialised focussed content. Each site has a social network that allows you to make connections with other users and with the same functions.
Each area allows you to maintain a journal, but between you and me, none of these is a JS-killer. There is no control over the visuals and the interface for adding entries is streamlined into the overall layout with generic ‘moods’ and such. However it does allow for commenting and interaction. You have a bulletin board members can post to (although I personally think this is way too much ‘interaction’ since there are boards for everything already.
There are communities of interests, newsletters, columns… this is a behemoth of a site, and if you’re new, it may be a little confusing. It’s fortunate that the interface is easy to understand and the site easy to navigate.
This site has ‘basic’ and ‘premium’ memberships, so there are things you don’t have access to with a free account. There is a limit on the number of private messages and restrictions on who you can private message; limits on photos, restrictions on editing posts to your bulletin board, and your journals; no access to instant messaging and numerous other restrictions. Again, this is a matter of taste. The site has more than enough to satisfy your need to interact with it’s basic account feature set.
One of my only problems is the lack of a unified log in. All of these areas require you to log in repeatedly and there is little cross-pollination between the sites. So joining Adult Backwash doesn’t mean you’re in the social network of the original Backwash, and again a great deal of logging in, logging in, logging in as you move around.
However, that aside, this place is fun. You can submit your own links, and like any community, you must build up a profile of interests. There’s a fairly simple way of becoming a contributor or columnist cum moderator, and there are clearly defined responsibilities for participation, and best of all, free premium membership for maintaining your submissions and following the ground rules.
The concepts are similar to other sites I participate in, hi5.com and tribe.net. I must say though it’s far more interesting than hi5.com and the interface less developed than tribe.net.
All in all, I highly recommend this site. It’s stickiness is undisputed, and it’s been around long enough (since 1997) to be a reliable place to gather information as well as to participate.
This is a must visit!